- Jul 26, 2021
A few days before the flight of Perseverance, NASA successfully launched its Perseverance probe at a critical moment. One of the tasks that Perseverance is endowed with is to scan various surface features with the PIXL instrument.
The PIXL which stands for X-ray Petrochemical Planetary Instrument issued to scan the surface of celestial bodies in acute details, and will be able to determine the presence of chemicals. The presence of chemicals in determining what kind of chemicals they are would serve a great deal to uncover the past lives of the planet.
As for collecting samples, Perseverance will keep the tools working around the clock. The instruments are designed in such a way that they would be able to not only collect samples from the surface of the earth but also would carry them back to earth where the samples would be studied by scientists. The detector that comes with the PIXL mixed with the AI, will be able to find chemical features.
The scientists have their eyes set on those samples. Abigail Allwood of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement:
PIXL’s X-ray beam is very narrow, and it can accurately locate features as small as a grain of salt. This allows us to detect what we detect very accurately. The chemical substance is linked to the specific texture of the rock. This attention to detail will allow the probe to detect the rocks, which may provide clues to the existence of life on the surface of Mars or underground.
The team working behind Perseverance are not hoping that they would find remaining fossils of giant animals such as dinosaurs, but are hopeful that they would be awarded tiny traces of evidence left by microbial life. The scientists hope that the traces will perhaps prove that the planet once was full of life. This is the point of focus for the Perseverance team of scientists.